Monday, April 20, 2020
After a failed engagement, Captain Andrew Lee James has focused on building a career in the Army he loves. That commitment includes helping a feisty, out-of-work ballerina whose devotion to her grandmother’s dying wish immediately grabs his heart. She’s the one, but will he be able to win the heart of a woman who has vowed to never be involved with a soldier?
College graduate Clara Malone swore to never love anyone in the military again but when her dying grandmother asks her to deliver a love letter to the general who broke her heart decades ago, she agrees and finds herself escorted by a handsome Army captain whose kindness challenges her beliefs. Surrounded by desert willows that shower her path with pretty pink flowers and sing with the buzzing of hummingbirds, Clara enjoys the wild beauty of El Paso—and her time with Andrew—more than expected.
Can she deliver her grandmother’s last love letter without losing her heart to a man who represents everything she fears?
My thoughts: Desert Willow is a unique story about one young woman seeking to help her grandmother out by delivering a last letter to the man who broke her heart as a young woman. I enjoyed the vivid pictures this story paints of family relationships and the secrets that are buried in the past. Clara is a delightful heroine who has seen what loving military men has done to the women in her family and who has sworn off forming an attachment to one herself. As she works with Andrew, she finds her expectations about live challenged in many ways.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.
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About the Author:
Patricia Beal is a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. A Season to Dance is her debut novel (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, May 2017). Her second novel comes out in February of 2020. Patricia graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and has worked for the U.S. Army as a writer and editor for many years. Patricia writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two children. You can find more info about Patricia on her website here.
More from Patricia
Desert Willow: A Love Song to the City of El Paso, to Family, and to Prince Harry
I enjoy this story so much! It’s great to finally get to share it with you.
Desert Willow started as a NaNoWriMo project in 2015 and has a lot of my grandma’s history in it—life in the German colonies of the south of Brazil, the beginning of the shoe industry there, and the story of the most influential man her town has ever known, my great-grandfather.
And what does that have to do with El Paso and Prince Harry?
Well, my Prince Harry lookalike, a young Army captain named Andrew Lee James who lives in El Paso, is helping the protagonist deliver her grandmother’s last love letter, a letter she was urged to write all those years ago after what happened in Brazil.
The contemporary story of Clara (protagonist) and Andrew was fun to write too because I’ve been around the Army since the nineties. We moved to Fort Bliss/El Paso in 2012 and lived there for six years. I thought I was going to hate it, but I loved it, so I just had to write an El Paso story.
Now I think that what I enjoyed the most about writing this novel was making all the connections and showing how the actions of a distant past affect and inform the modern story so deeply.
Some of you have journeyed with me for a while and know that my debut, A Season to Dance, was my salvation process. What comes after salvation can be hard. What’s that? Well, looking at past mistakes through God’s eyes and realizing just how wrong we were, for starters.
We know how quickly God forgives us, but can we forgive ourselves and each other as quickly?
Desert Willow deals with all that. And with Prince Harry… 😊
For a complete list of the blog stops, go here!
To celebrate her tour, Patricia is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7 (https://amzn.to/37TEN21)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link here to enter.